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Cabinet to decide on alert level settings today

Parliament and Beehive Photo: RNZ

The country will find out today whether or not the government will ease alert level restrictions next week.

Cabinet Ministers are meeting today to review the country's alert levels, which are set to expire this Sunday.

Just one new case of COVID-19 was reported in the community yesterday, which was linked to the Auckland cluster.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has warned that may not guarantee a lowering of alert levels.

"We have been at this level only for a very short period of time, we are still in this earlyish stage of seeing that impact on the cluster and so these are all things Cabinet will consider," she says.

ACT leader David Seymour says areas outside of Auckland should be at level 1 and Auckland should see some restrictions eased.

"It seems unfair to place restrictions on people so far away, where the risk is so remote and yet the costs are enormous."

Auckland University Professor Shaun Hendy, whose modelling has guided the government's response, says it's too early to tell the true impact of the current alert level.

"It would wise to figure out how well the current settings have worked before we change them," he says.

Prof Hendy says it will be best to keep the whole country at level 2.

"The risks now are that Aucklanders are travelling again [out] of an outbreak in another part of the country and if we were at level 1 then that outbreak can grow very rapidly, whereas in level 2 there is a chance it won't take hold at all, or it will grow slowly so we will be better able to contain it."

-RNZ

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